• Beth Jones

Church Blogmatics Christmas Gift Ideas List 2022

Updated: Nov 21

I do love choosing gifts for people I love. You'll find a lot of books on this list, but it also includes a smattering of other gift possibilities that I find joyful. This post contains associate links, through which I may receive a payment if you choose to click and purchase.

Gifts that are a gift to others

The Heifer International Gift Catalog lets you gift livestock to families in need. Can't do a whole goat? Buy a share of a goat. You can also get a pair of alpacas or a flock of chicks. You can mail or print a card for the person your gifts honors.

Gifts for children

Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri is my favorite book of the year. It's a memoir that reads like a novel, great for readers from about 5th grade through adulthood. Nayeri tells his story of becoming a refugee and, eventually, moving to the US, because of his mother's conversion to Christianity in a place where Christianity is a capital offense. It's sad and hopeful and gorgeous.

A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. A baby Jesus picture book with some really spectacular paintings of angels.

Art set. As a child, I know I would have thrilled at all the different colors, the little pullout drawer, arranging the pencils in rainbow order....

Gifts from Tiny Theologians, where they make thoughtful theological resources for teaching the Christian faith. I'm partial to the Mothers and Fathers of the faith card sets, pictured below, but you can also shop by age and category. There's even a systematic theology workbook.

The Nativity by Julie Vivas. Another beautiful picture book version of the baby Jesus story.

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes is a sentimental favorite for me. It's simple enough for the littlest children, available as a board book, and sweet in the best possible way.

Color by Sticker book I love this idea, and it's great for a road trip. The book linked is too complicated for younger children, but you can also find simpler options online.

Handa's Surprise by by Eileen Browne. This is another sentimental favorite for me. The plot delights little readers, and the pictures are bright and beautiful.

Dalmatian vet set Kids seem to love to have their dolls and stuffed toys get sick so they can take care of them.

The All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor. I keep coming back to older stories, and it doesn't get better than this series about the everyday joys and trials of a loving family. As a child, it was my introduction to Jewish holidays. I'll always remember the horror I felt over Henny's lost library book.

Dixit game. I added this one to our family game shelf this year. Imagination fun.

Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. I'll stop with the sentimental faves after this, but my little ones loved this book about baby's mischief.

Shape shifting puzzle cube. Bright colors and foldable configurations; I'm gifting this this year.

How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith. An artist suggests exercises in attention to everyday beauty. A great gift for kids, but I'm also using this as a textbook for an upcoming course on theology of the body.

Gifts for adults

On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius. This book is for EVERYONE. Bear with me here; I know an ancient author can be a hard sell, but every time I teach this book, students report absolutely loving it. It has an introduction by CS Lewis, and it's all about Christmas.

Bookmouse wall plaque. Assuming your giftee is a book person, they will love this. It's a mouse! Who reads! In a nook!

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright. This is a book about which I regularly hear one report: it's life-changing. Wright shows why Christian hope matters for this life.

Rothy's. I'm a big fan of these comfortable, recycled, machine-washable shoes. My personal favorites are the driving loafers, but there are many styles and colors.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. It's hard to describe this novel, but it's a very, very human, heart-warming, page turner. About a bank robbery. It would be hard not to love it.

From Shade to Shine by Jill Peláez Baumgaertner. New poems from my friend and favorite contemporary Christian poet.

Rainbow Kingdom Puzzle. I like an occasional jigsaw puzzle, and this is my favorite of all time. It's beautiful and satisfying and the color gradation takes it out of the category of so-challenging-it's-no-fun.

Really lovely copy of the NRSV. It's the best translation, and it's purple goat hide.

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green. I don't know if there's a universal solvent, but there is a universal gift book. Last year, I gave it to my parents, brother, and older children. All humans should like it. Green does Yelp-style reviews of things like "Diet Dr. Pepper." Don't be put off by the title; it's brilliant but in good fun. Humanism at its best.

Fancy Scrabble set. For the person on your list who needs to keep the tiles from moving, and wants to rotate the board for optimal word building.

Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich. A beautiful testimony to the love of God in Jesus. Julian grows on me more every year. For your favorite mystic.

Francis of Assisi Garden Cross. I like the unique design, and while I wish it had a wolf, it does have a rabbit. For your gardener or animal lover.

Journaling the Psalms from Paula Gooder. I wish more theologians and biblical scholars would write prayer resources! Includes Psalms 1, 23, 42, 88, 139, 145, and 150.

Getting Involved With God: Rediscovering the Old Testament by Ellen Davis. This book is smart and accessible; for the Christian on your list who'd like to know more about Scripture.

Mason Bee Hive. Did you know honeybees aren't native to North America, but Mason bees are? This beautiful hive can house these pollinators in your yard.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. If you'd like some Christmas writing from the likes of Annie Dillard and Thomas Merton, this book of readings suits.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson shares his experience with death row prisoners and his work to bring greater justice to the prison system. Deeply moving. Deeply important.

Ninja Air Fryer. I've resisted jumping on the air fryer bandwagon, but we added this to the kitchen this year, and it's been a game changer. It heats up fast, cooks well, and the kids can manage the little pans. Good for reheating as well.

The Modern Saints Icons. I love these prints imagining some of the great saints as "modern, everyday humans." The one pictured below is the Madonna; be sure to check the site for lots of compelling options. Wallet size prayer cards are also available.

Martin Luther's Christmas Book. I've gifted this book many times since I discovered it in grad school. It gathers some of Luther's Christmas sermons, and Christmas Luther is Luther at his best: salty, earthy, grateful for grace.

Stocking stuffers

Pez are delightful. Always have been. Always will be.

World's Smallest Magic 8 Ball. Other "word's smallest" toys are also listed.

Phone tripod/selfie stick. I don't know about your family gatherings, but mine always needs a way to take the group photo.

Christmas Mad Libs. Still hilarious.

Funko pop keychain. I added different Star Wars keychains to our car keys this year so we can easily tell them apart. The link goes to Artoo, but you can click around for other characters including baby Yoda and Chewie.

Tiny baking. Tiny things are fun in stockings, and this lets your giftee make tiny real food.

Harry Potter Golden Snitch Keychain. Surprisingly hefty and attractive, great for attaching to an HP fan's backpack.

Crayola Multicultural Markers. Make sure your artist has an array of beautiful hues available for drawing an array of beautiful humans.

Clinging cross. Designed to fit in the hand during prayer; I like the idea of embodied aids to prayer. You can find these in a variety of colors.

Writer Emergency Pack. A pack of cards with prompts and ideas for fighting writer's block.

Meat claws. For shredding roasts and the like. Fun.

Writable tabs/bookmarks. Eight packs of multi-colored sticky tabs for all your bookmarking needs.

Personalized address stamper. For someone who moved this year or for someone who would probably never get themself a personalized addressed stamper.

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